VIRAL VIDEO: San Jose parents say 14-year-old son was wrongly arrested over a fight


A viral video shows a heated encounter between San Jose police officers and parents of a 14-year-old boy in handcuffs.

The video was recorded right after a fight between their son and three adults in a San Jose park.

The parents of the boy talked on-camera just with KRON4’s Justine Waldman.

She tells KRON4 why the parents believe police arrested the wrong person.

There is outrage from the parents of Ernesto Mirabal, seen in the video in handcuffs.

They recorded San Jose police taking him away after he was in a fight with three adults at Los Paseos park on Monday.

“He was walking to school, like every kid does, and three adults took it upon themselves to interrogate him and make him scared,” Manuel Mirabal said.

“It is terrifying, as a mom” Jennifer Mirabal said. “I wasn’t there to protect him.”

The Mirabals tell KRON4 Ernesto had to spend the night in jail.

“He is just not emotionally right,” Manuel said.

San Jose police and the Mirabals agree before the video rolls that it started when Ernesto responded to people asking him where he was going.

“He did start to tell her like, ‘Get the (expletive) away from me,'” Jennifer said. “‘Leave me the (expletive) alone.’”

But the stories veer apart as to who threw the first punch.

The Mirabal’s claim one of the adults is the aggressor.

“He was just grabbing my son like this and choking him and hitting him, and that is when my son was fighting back,” Jennifer said.

San Jose police put it on the teenager.

Police say Ernesto punched the man in the face and was arrested for assault and battery. Ernesto was then booked into juvenile hall.

“And when he protected himself and stood up against them, he got arrested for it,” Manuel said. “He got the punishment.”

The Mirabals heard the man who hit their son is an off-duty cop. But San Jose police would not comment on the victim.

The Mirabals posted the video, angry that police only arrested their son–not any of the adults who were also involved.

“The officers who responded to this incident acted within the San Jose Police Department’s protocol,” a police spokeswoman said.

Now, as their video goes viral, the Mirabals want the officers held accountable.

“I don’t feel like that was a great judgment call for them, and I just hope that gets fixed in the department,” Manuel said.

The family says the district attorney has dropped any charges against their son. 

They have now filed a police conduct complaint, and have a lawyer as they prepare for their next steps.



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